Yeast Or Allergy - What Is Causing Your Dog To Itch?

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Hi there, Lyndall Pinchen, Canine Naturopath from Canine Vitality back again today to share with you this week’s post “Yeast or allergy- what is causing your dog to itch?”. If you are living in the Southern hemisphere, it is starting to get colder as we go into our Winter months. However, I am still regularly seeing itchy dogs coming into clinic regardless of the season. Can you relate to that? Is your dog itching and scratching whether it’s summer of winter....essentially all year round??. So I wanted to look at what is often confused as ‘allergies’ in our dogs- an infection that can often be resistant and difficult to get on top of- and that’s YEAST! In today’s post we’ll look at what yeast infections are, how they develop and how they can often mimic allergies in your dog. And I’ll give you some tips on how to help overcome these too! So let’s dive in and take a closer look at yeast infections.


In my clinic I see so many dogs coming in that have some sort of yeast infection. Commonly this will be a recurrent ear infection, or incessant paw licking. But yeast can affect many other areas of your dogs body. Dogs that suffer from yeast infections may be generally itchy all over or even suffer from hotspots. Their skin may appear blackened or there maybe be black ‘spots’ on the skin that don’t wash off and you may also notice rust like stains on areas where there has been excessive licking. There is often hair loss around the tail and back areas. And then there is that classic yeasty smell – a bit like a combination of mouldy socks and corn chips all rolled into one. Once you have smelled this you never forget it!!In addition, there may be internal gut symptoms like bloating, bowel changes. The symptoms of yeast infections can be minor or become deeply chronic over time if left untreated or if incorrectly diagnosed.

ITCHY DOG OR CAT?? Click here to register for my August workshop on Understanding and Managing Skin Allergies in Your Pet - the Natural Way


So what causes yeast to be such an issue? Well, firstly it’s important to note that every dog (much like every human) has a healthy population of yeasts living in the gut and on the skin including ears, genitals and between the paw pads. Now as long as your dog’s immune system is strong and healthy, the yeast will never cause an issue as it lives in harmony with thousands of other normal microbes that are also present. However, problems arise when the immune system starts to become compromised and stressed, yeast populations start to rise and become out of balance.

In dogs, there are a number of things that will cause this immune distress. But in the case of yeast infections, the BIGGEST contributing factor is diet and more specifically, PROCESSED FOODS. Why is this?? Well as many of you will know, yeast loves SUGAR. And commercial foods that are full of grains and other carbohydrates are the perfect food to feed a hungry yeast population. When your dog eats foods containing these carbohydrates or starches, they are broken down in the gut into sugars and this is how they start to feed the yeast populations. And don’t be fooled into thinking that the ‘grain-free’ options are any better- while these may not contain ‘carbohydrates’ in the form of grains, instead they are high in starches such as tapioca and sweet potato that are required to make kibble into those little pieces. And these same thing happens when your dog eats these grain free versions- they are still broken down into simple sugars that once again will feed your dogs yeast problem.


Overcoming yeast infections, especially when chronic can take time and persistence and treating the whole dog is essential to get on top of this. Here are some tips for overcoming yeast infections:

>Avoid all processed and carbohydrate based foods- this also includes sugary vegetables like sweet potato, carrot and pumpkin. Opt for an organic raw diet based around good quality proteins, fats and green leafy veggies.

>Avoid chemical flea, tick and worming products along with vaccinations as these all lead to a stressed immune system.
>In addition, often dogs that have these skin issues have been given dose of antibiotics and steroids- two medications that also led to an increase of yeast in the gut so avoiding these is also important

>Heal you dog’s gut- I usually recommend a leaky gut regime to help rebalance and heal the gut and start getting those yeast numbers back into normal range. You can read more about leaky gut in my previous blog posts http://www.caninevitality.com.au/blog/

>Keep stress and anxiety levels under control as this can lead to an underfunctioning immune system. You can also read about some tips for reducing anxiety naturally in my blog

I also herb antifungal herbs, enzymes, probiotics, and other antifungal agents such as organic coconut oil to start to bring down the level of yeast while working on gut healing. Topically, coconut oil apple cider vinegar rinses, colloidal silver, calendula or golden seal and essential oils like tea tree and lavender can be used to treat the infections topically. Remember never to use oils or vinegar is the skin is red and very inflamed.

So while there are many dogs suffering from true skin allergy conditions, maybe your dog actually has a yeast infection that is mimicking that allergy state. Regardless though, by following a natural plan that treas your dog’s gut and avoids chemicals and processed foods, you will have a great chance of getting this back under control and resolve that itchy skin that has been plaguing your dog. Well I hope you enjoyed today’s post on “Yeast or allergy- what is causing your dog to itch?”

Please remember to like, comment or share this post and subscribe to my youtube channel for all the latest happy healthy dogs tips straight to your inbox. And if you would like more information on my herbal antifungal formula, please email me at lyndall.pinchen@gmail.com. Well that’s it for today- I look forward to catching up with you really soon in my next video. Have a great day!!


ITCHY DOG OR CAT? Click here to register for my August workshop on Understanding and Managing Skin Allergies in Your Pet - the Natural Way